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April 10, 2013

BAKER SNUBBED: Jeff senior left off Indiana All-Star roster

JEFFERSONVILLE — The Indianapolis Star announced the 2013 Indiana All-Star boys’ basketball roster on Tuesday.

Somehow, Jeffersonville’s Darryl Baker was not on it.

Despite producing one of the best seasons in the long history of Jeffersonville High School boys’ basketball, the 6-foot-2 senior guard got snubbed by the majority of All-Star voters and will not participate in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Series in June.

Baker’s omission from the All-Star team left the entire Red Devil boys’ hoops program shocked and saddened.

“I’m disappointed. Darryl is disappointed. In the history of Jeff basketball, no one has had a better season,” Red Devils’ coach Chad Gilbert said. “I felt in every game we played this season, Darryl was the best player on the court.”

Baker’s 2012-13 statistics were certainly All-Star worthy.

Baker averaged 23.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this season. He set the single-season scoring record at Jeff with 655 points and finished his Red Devil career as the sixth all-time leading scorer.

Baker was named the News and Tribune Area Player of the Year and made the All-Hoosier Hills Conference team for the third time. In addition, he participated in the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Workout last weekend in Indianapolis and will play in the North-South Indiana All-Star Classic this weekend in Terre Haute.

Baker led the Red Devils to a 24-4 record, a second straight outright HHC title and the Class 4A sectional and regional championships. Their season ended with a 74-53 loss to eventual state runner-up Indianapolis Cathedral in the Class 4A Seymour Semistate on March 16, where Baker had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Despite the double-double, Baker had a rough shooting night as he was 6-of-21 from the floor.

One of the area coaches who was impressed with Baker’s senior campaign was New Albany coach Jim Shannon.

“I know he had a tremendous year,” said Shannon, who scouted Jeff several times and whose team faced the Red Devils twice this past season. “He had a great season. He had some phenomenal nights and distributed the ball well. The only game I think he didn’t play well was against Cathedral.

“Do I think he deserves to be on the team? Yeah, I do. But it is tough to make it.”

The biggest honor Baker got this season was being named to The Associated Press All-State second team last week. Voters for the AP All-State teams consider players in grades 9-12 throughout the state. Only seniors are eligible to make the All-Star team.

The general consensus was Baker would be a shoo-in to make the All-Star team since he was named one of the top 10 players in the state by AP voters.

Unfortunately, that did not come to fruition in this instance.

“I was certainly leaning in that direction. I thought, ‘Yeah, [he will be an All-Star],’” Shannon said about the possibility of Baker becoming an All-Star after he learned that Baker made the All-State squad.

Baker has given a verbal commitment to play college basketball at Lamar Univeristy, an NCAA Division I school in Beaumont, Texas.

“Darryl is a class kid and Jeff is a class program,” Gilbert said. “Jeff will go on as a class program.”

The All-Star team consists of the following players: Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern; Basil Smotherman, Lawrence North; Devin Davis, Warren Central; Collin Hartman, Cathedral; V.J. Beachem, New Haven; Clay Yeo, Triton; Mike Crawford, Tipton; Blake Simmons, Castle; Darius Latham, Indianapolis North Central; Michael Schlotman, Munster; Demetrius Jackson, Mishawaka Marian; Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne Northrop; Michael Volovic, Carmel.

The two-game Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Series will begin at Freedom Hall in Louisville on Friday, June 14 and end the following night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


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